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I started raising chickens about 4 yrs ago for the eggs to sell and now I am at the time that production has dropped from 3 dozen in a day to about 1 dozen, if that. I've checked every thing that could possibly stop them from laying except for how to tell if they are "done" laying. I really hate to kill a chicken cause she not laying any more but I've gone from a few to well over 50 big and 30 babies and with the price of feed going up and now spacing in the coop...I need help...how do you tell if a chicken is still in production? I've read that the vent is dry and small, the breast bone is less than 2 fingers apart or the feathers are nice and perfect and not all beat up...are all signs that they are not laying anymore ....which is the best way to tell, any help??
 

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I honestly don't know. I've always had mine in a controlled environment so it was easy to tell who was or wasn't laying.

I guess the only way to know for certain is to watch for who visits the nest box and band that bird. But now would be a bad time to try that since they will be slacking off with the shorter days and probably going in to a molt.
 

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I think a lot of people just go by age of the chicken. If they're three years old or older, they're probably not laying as much as the younger chickens. Five and up I would be surprised if they laid anything at all, though it's not unheard of.
 
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